Five Inspirational Places by Judith Crow – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is parto of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Five Inspirational Places

I’m away on holiday at the moment – the first one of 2020 because Covid-19 has cancelled the other two – so I thought I’d share five places which I find really inspirational. I should say that, although I love all five of these places, there are other places I love equally or more, but there are ones which really get the creative juices flowing for me! I’ve written them in order of north to south: three are in Scotland and two are in England.

St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney

This massive red sandstone building dominates the Kirkwall skyline as you drive into the town, and this is my earliest memory of it. In fact, I never set foot in the building when we were living in Orkney, but saw the interior for the first time when we returned on holiday in 2001. It is full of fascinating memento mori gravemarkers, which absolutely fascinate me, and the stained glass in absolutely magnificent. Perhaps the most memorable and unique thing about St Magnus Cathedral is the smell: warmth and love, which speaks of the years of Orkney which it has witnessed.

Lose yourself in the sights and scents, while you listen to the sounds of people from around the globe gathering together to admire the magnificent cathedral.

Castle Sinclair Girnigoe, Caithness

This building is just a short distance from where I live, and I’ve got many happy memories of it, like the time we met the founder of the North Carolina Opera Company there, or when we bumped into a group of people dressed as Knights Templar. It is the southernmost castle on Sinclair Bay and is believed to be haunted by the ghost of a man whose brother locked him up with salted meat and no water to drink. When his brother came to gloat over him, the incarcerated man attempted to strangle him with the chains he wore.

Coupled with this spooky heritage and the fact that the castle is built on the edge of a cliff, there’s no shortage of inspiration to be found at the castle.

Killiecrankie, Perthshire

This is where I am for this holiday. In autumn, there is not a more beautiful place in the world. The pass and the surrounding hills have burst into shades of golden, yellow, orange and red. There’s a good chance that you’ll see a red squirrel as you venture and the birdlife is fantastic too, along with evidence of pine martens, badgers and otters. In 1689, there was a battle in the pass, as the Jacobites won a battle which lost them the war, as “Bonnie Dundee” (their leader) was killed early in conflict and they had no one else with his skills as a tactician.

Like Sinclair Girnigoe, it is the mixture of natural and cultural heritage which gives this place the wealth of inspiration it has on offer. Take a camera, but make sure you spend time just soaking in the feeling as well!

Pendragon Castle, Cumbria

This place actually inspired the story that is my current work in progress: a story all about King Arthur’s foster-brother, Kaye. According to legend, it was the castle of King Uther, Arthur’s father, who attempted to divert the Eden so that it would provide the moat for his castle. His subsequent failure to do so was preserved in rhyme. In actual fact, its most famous resident was Sir Hugh de Morville, one of the knights who killed Thomas a Becket in 1170. On his return to Pendragon Castle, he found he was haunted by the fact that the ridge of the nearby hill resembled a recumbent man wearing a mitre!

The castle is usually surrounded by sheep more that tourists, which means you usually get the place to yourself. There isn’t that much to see anymore, but there’s nothing like a good ruin for getting the creative juices flowing.

Thornton Abbey, North Lincolnshire

I feel like I’m pinching this one, because it is such an important place for my sister’s book, Taking Wing. When the monasteries were dissolved, Henry VIII liked the architecture of Thornton Abbey so much that he decided to turn it into a college. Eventually though, it fell into disuse and disrepair, and now the gatehouse is the only part which hints at its former majesty. It too is haunted – by a man who was caught stealing fish from the monk’s pond and who got his head chopped off with a spade!

The way that the imposing gatehouse at Thornton Abbey looms over its surroundings leaves a magical shadow of inspiration around the area: how did the mighty become so fallen?

I’d love to hear about the places which you find inspirational – please tell me in the comments!

Don’t tell anyone, but Kelli spends all her free time listening to folk music. Ok, it’s not what you’d expect from a popular fifteen-year-old, but that’s why she doesn’t want the whole world to know.

When Kelli follows the mysterious Tam Lane, she finds herself in a place where folk songs come to life. As she comes to terms with the world, she makes friends, uses her privilege to help others, and even falls in love.

But Kelli has forgotten the fates which await so many characters in the songs, and she soon finds herself surrounded by heartbreak. Determined to protect the people she has left, can Kelli change a fate which has been sung for centuries?

Enjoy an Excerpt

They left the inn as the church clock began to chime midday and completed their journey in relative silence. As they neared Arlen Manor, Kelli began to feel a strange sensation of being watched, as though a hundred pairs of eyes were following her wherever she went. Looking carefully, she saw there were sculpted birds in many of the trees: great, black, hideous creatures with round eyes which stared unseeingly and followed her as she passed them by.

“They are crows,” William explained. “Centuries ago, before it was Arlen, the castle which stood here was called Corbie. That’s just another word for crow. According to family legend, when a disaster is about to befall the men of the family, the crows of Corbie Castle can be heard talking to one another.”

Kelli felt a shiver stalk down her spine, and she was grateful when they left the woods and moved up the long driveway to the house, which was a picture of gothic splendour in the late afternoon light. She immediately had the feeling that this was the place she had been meant to find, although she could not explain where the idea came from. Climbing down from the trap, Kelli followed William to the door, and stood behind him as he hammered his fist against it.

About the Author:

Judith was born in Orkney, grew up in Lincolnshire and now lives in the far north of Scotland. Her writing is inspired by the experiences of her life so far and she loves picking up on quirks and immortalising them in fiction.

Judith’s new book, Dance With Me, combines her love of folk music and creative writing, and finds her main character in a world where folk songs come to life. Her debut book, The Backwater, was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2019.

When she isn’t writing, Judith is a primary school teacher who enjoys crafting and music, as well as being a generally doting spaniel owner.

Website | Publisher | Twitter

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Its formulae basically consist of the cGMP-specificphosphodiesterase kind 5 enzyme. free viagra on line I never showed interest on my marital life until I was diagnosed with tension issues and ED or Erectile commander levitra Dysfunction something which was new to me at that time. If you are indulging in this habit many times a day or even more, it is too much and can lead to impotence along with weight management and better insulin cialis 10 mg resistance. Now, one of the most common medicines is samples of levitra / and you can easily get it through written prescription of doctor.


  1. James Robert says

    I appreciate your review and getting to hear about another book I didn’t know about until now. Thank you for sharing and for this giveaway also.

  2. Thanks for hosting!

  3. Judith Crow says

    Thank you for hosting this stop on the tour! I loved thinking about different inspirational places – I hope readers will have chance to visit some of these places!


  4. Eva Millien says

    I enjoyed the excerpt and your 5 inspirational places! Dance With Me sounds like a great book and I have enjoyed following the tour and learning all about it! Thanks for sharing it with, I hope the tour was a success and Have a Happy Halloween!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.